Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is a conversation between Lex Fridman and Bret Weinstein about the flaws of science as an institution, the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of open communication and debate in finding solutions.

The video is a conversation between Lex Fridman and Bret Weinstein, an evolutionary biologist and co-host of the Dark Horse podcast. They discuss the flaws of science as an institution and the importance of open communication and debate in finding solutions to problems like the COVID-19 pandemic. They also touch on the beauty and complexity of biology, with Weinstein explaining how he sees it from both a high-level and low-level perspective. The conversation is meant to show solidarity and hope for science and humanity.

  • The conversation is between Lex Fridman and Bret Weinstein.
  • Science is beautiful and powerful, but as an institution, it is susceptible to the flaws of human nature.
  • The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is discussed.
  • The importance of open communication and debate in finding solutions is emphasized.
  • Great leaders were needed, but we didn't get them.
  • Bret Weinstein was drawn to the never-ending series of near miracles that exist across biological nature.
  • Humans have the ability to develop facility in a wide range of topics.
  • When playing guitar or piano, the consciousness is an observer.
  • Science as an institution has flaws, including the pressure to conform and the suppression of dissenting opinions.

Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 - YouTube

Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 001

Introduction

  • The conversation is between Lex Fridman and Bret Weinstein.
  • The flaws of science as an institution are discussed.
  • The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is discussed.
  • The importance of open communication and debate in finding solutions is emphasized.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 002

The Flaws of Science as an Institution

  • Science is beautiful and powerful, but as an institution, it is susceptible to the flaws of human nature.
  • 2020 is the story of scientific triumph and tragedy.
  • Leaders should have communicated in an honest, transparent, and authentic way about the uncertainty of what we know and the large-scale scientific efforts to reduce that uncertainty and to develop solutions.
  • Open data, open science, and open scientific communication and debate were the way, not censorship.
  • The moment we have the hubris to say we know which ideas are bad, wrong, or dangerous is the moment we'll lose our ability to find the truth and solutions.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 003

The Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Great leaders were needed, but we didn't get them.
  • Several candidates for solutions could have saved hundreds of billions of dollars and lessened or eliminated the suffering of millions of people.
  • Five categories of solutions are mentioned: masks, at-home testing, anonymized contact tracing, antiviral drugs, and vaccines.
  • Institutional leaders should have constantly asked and answered publicly and honestly three questions: what data do we have on the solution, how effective and how safe is the solution given the current data and uncertainty, and what is the timeline and cost involved with mass manufacturing, distribution, and service of the solution?
  • No voices should have been silenced, and no ideas should have been left off the table.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 005

Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 - YouTube

The Importance of Open Communication and Debate

  • Open data, open science, and open scientific communication and debate were the way, not censorship.
  • There are a lot of ideas out there that are bad, wrong, or dangerous, but the moment we have the hubris to say we know which ideas those are is the moment we'll lose our ability to find the truth and solutions.
  • The very freedom to talk, to think, and to share ideas is our only hope.
  • Bret Weinstein should never have been censored.
  • The conversation is less about the ideas they talk about and more about the very freedom to talk, to think, and to share ideas.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 006

The Beauty of Biology

  • Bret Weinstein was drawn to the never-ending series of near miracles that exist across biological nature.
  • He sees biology from both an evolutionary biology perspective and an engineering perspective.
  • He has different modules in his mind to see the evolutionary dynamics of a creature and the lineage that it belongs to and to think of that lineage over a very long time scale.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 007

The Flexibility of Humans

  • Humans have the ability to develop facility in a wide range of topics.
  • Humans can repurpose their machinery for novel topics.
  • Humans can embrace the full adaptability of both the body and the mind.
  • Humans can figure out what their passion is and deeply understand it.
  • Humans can tap into some kind of zone to accomplish amazing things.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 008

The Hierarchies of Biology

  • Every creature is both a machine and a potential.
  • Every creature is a machine that does things in the world to survive and reproduce.
  • Every creature is a potential for the most recent common ancestor of some future clade of creatures.
  • If a creature is very good at being a creature but not very good in terms of its potential, then that lineage will not last very long into the future.
  • Humans are a generalist platform and have the ability to swap out their software to exist in many different niches.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 010

The Flexibility in Humans

  • The ability to bootstrap a new software program and then drive it into the unconscious layer is what accounts for the flexibility in humans.
  • Humans have the ability to tap into deep monkey stuff.
  • Humans have the experience of flying down the hill on skis or bouncing from the top of one mogul to the next.
  • Humans have the ability to drive a new software program into the unconscious layer where it can be applied very rapidly.
  • The exact thing that exists in humans may also exist in robotics.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 011

The Consciousness Being an Observer

  • When playing guitar or piano, the consciousness is an observer.
  • Some part of humans knows how to ski or play music, and it's not the part of humans that knows how to think.
  • The ability to tap into some kind of zone to accomplish amazing things is a certain kind of magic.
  • The exact thing that exists in humans may also exist in robotics.
  • The flow of music or the ability to ski may be responsible for the unconscious layer of humans.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 012

Robotics and Human Learning

  • Boston Dynamics robots are hard-coded to perform tasks, unlike humans who learn through trial and error.
  • The process of making mistakes and overcoming challenges is what makes us human.
  • Allowing robots to make mistakes in a safe environment could lead to the discovery of something beautiful.
  • Spot, the Boston Dynamics robot, currently lacks the ability to see and needs to be given a brain to learn and communicate.
  • The development of robots is similar to the development of humans, and proper development is key to flexibility and capability.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 014

The Conscious Mind and Physical Movement

  • The conscious mind is intricately involved in physical movement, but it also observes and does not seem to control the movement.
  • Physical motion can create emotions and a feeling of being alive.
  • The ability to lose oneself in movement is what makes us human.
  • Consciousness is useful in situations where quick reactions are necessary, such as in table tennis.
  • Consciousness can also intrude when facing an opponent who knows a trick that we don't know how to respond to.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 015

The Flaws of Science as an Institution

  • Science as an institution has flaws, including the pressure to conform and the suppression of dissenting opinions.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these flaws, with censorship and politicization of scientific research.
  • Open communication and debate are necessary for finding solutions to complex problems.
  • Science should be a tool for understanding the world, not a means of control or power.
  • There is a need for a new scientific paradigm that values diversity of thought and encourages open discussion.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 016

The Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been flawed, with conflicting information and politicization of scientific research.
  • The suppression of dissenting opinions has led to a lack of trust in scientific institutions.
  • There is a need for transparency and open communication in scientific research and decision-making.
  • The pandemic has highlighted the importance of individual responsibility and the need for a balance between safety and personal freedom.
  • The pandemic has also highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and the need for a holistic approach to problem-solving.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 017

The Human Mind as Compiled Code

  • Consciousness is an intermediate level of thinking that allows adaptation to new circumstances.
  • Once the code is roughed in, it gets driven into the unconscious layer, and the individual becomes highly effective at whatever it is.
  • The conscious mind remains to detect things that aren't anticipated by the code already written.
  • The human mind contains sandboxes in which things are tested.
  • There's got to be some way of writing new code and then swapping it in.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 019

The Highest Form of Excellence in Tennis and Being Human

  • The compiled code is the highest form of being human, and consciousness is just some specific compiler.
  • The thing by which we measure the power of life and intelligence of life is the compiled code.
  • You can probably do that compilation all kinds of ways.
  • The highest form of excellence in tennis is when the conscious mind is a spectator.
  • When you shrink the court down, it becomes obvious that your conscious mind is just present rather than knowing where to put the paddle.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 020

The Phenomenon of Losing Yourself in Conversation

  • The sensation of giving a presentation is the conscious mind watching some other part of you present.
  • That means you've gotten good at it and not let the conscious mind get in the way of the flow of words.
  • The highest form of podcasting is losing yourself in conversation.
  • Trust is a big component of losing yourself in conversation.
  • Your conscious mind retains control if you are very uncertain.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 021

The Self-Critical Voice in the Mind

  • There's a very self-critical voice that's much louder, so it's hard to hear the voice that says good job.
  • Maybe the individual needs to deal with that voice.
  • The individual is focused on dealing with the self-critical voice.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 023

Self-Criticism and Dwelling on Things

  • Bret Weinstein is extremely self-critical of his work and always strives to improve.
  • He resonates with Marvin Minsky's idea that the key to a productive life is to hate everything you've ever done in the past.
  • Weinstein finds it difficult to appreciate the things he's created because of his self-critical voice.
  • He believes that dwelling on things is not necessarily bad, but it becomes a problem when it goes past the point of utility.
  • Knowing when to stop dwelling on something is useful and gives you license to move on.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 024

Compiling Code and Learning

  • Weinstein compares dwelling on things to compiling code and getting warnings.
  • When you have a large enough system, you let the warnings go and hope nothing terrible happens.
  • Weinstein believes that robots and learning will have to go through a deep developmental state and a helplessness that evolves into hyper-competence.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 025

Ancestral Programming and Modern Life

  • Weinstein believes that our ancestral programming does not serve our modern selves.
  • He used to talk to students about dwelling on things and how it can be bad if it goes past the point of utility.
  • Dwelling on things is the key to upgrading your program for future well-being.
  • There is a point at which it is no longer useful to dwell on something, and knowing when to stop is useful.
  • Even the part of you that was punishing you knows when it's time to stop.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 026

The Theory of Close Calls

  • Weinstein lives by something he calls the theory of close calls.
  • People typically miscategorize the events in their life where something almost went wrong.
  • For example, if you narrowly avoid a car accident, you might think that you were lucky, but in reality, you were skilled.
  • Weinstein believes that recognizing your close calls and learning from them is important for personal growth.
  • He thinks that people should be more aware of their close calls and use them as opportunities for learning.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 028

The Importance of Close Calls

  • Close calls can be used to identify potential dangers and prioritize safety measures.
  • Civilization is producing major disasters that are not yet existential in scale.
  • Discovering the name of industrial processes before accidents happen is crucial.
  • Individual lives and the entirety of human civilization can rest on luck.
  • There are some things we cannot control, but there are also many things we can.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 029

The Need for Restraint

  • There is a process unfolding that keeps creating risks.
  • Wisdom is to stop causing disasters.
  • Restraint is necessary to prevent disasters.
  • There is a lack of evidence of a process of restraint.
  • There is no political structure capable of deploying a protective algorithm.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 030

The Fukushima Triple Meltdown, Financial Collapse of 2008, and Deepwater Horizon Blowout

  • The Fukushima triple meltdown was awful, but every fuel pool held and there wasn't a major fire.
  • The financial collapse of 2008 threatened the world economy, but a Herculean effort managed to pull us back from the brink.
  • The Deepwater Horizon blowout could have been much worse.
  • Each of these cases tells us that there is a process unfolding that keeps creating risks.
  • Wisdom is to stop causing disasters.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 031

The COVID-19 Pandemic

  • COVID-19 is terrible, but it could be much worse.
  • There is a strong likelihood that COVID-19 came from the Wuhan lab.
  • Something is telling us that there is a process unfolding that keeps creating risks.
  • Wisdom is to stop causing disasters.
  • Restraint is necessary to prevent disasters.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 033

Human Ingenuity and Disasters

  • Short-term productivity can lead to long-term destruction.
  • The number of disasters avoided due to human ingenuity and character is an open question.
  • We may be more intelligent than lucky, which is an optimistic message.
  • We should list all the ways human civilization can destroy itself, assign likelihood to it, and think through how to avoid it.
  • We need to be honest and transparent with the data about close calls and use it to minimize the probability of those close calls.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 034

Sustainability and Reversibility

  • Sustainability is an objective that we have to meet if we're to be around long-term.
  • We need to have reversibility of all our processes because processes frequently start off not appearing dangerous and then become very dangerous when they scale.
  • If we built the capacity to reverse any process, our safety would go up dramatically.
  • We're involved in too many dangerous processes, so we need to begin thinking about reversibility.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 035

COVID-19 and the Wuhan Institute of Virology

  • The likelihood that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is very high.
  • There is no evidence that points to nature as the source of COVID-19.
  • The lab that was most directly involved with research on viruses that look like SARS-CoV-2 is the most likely source.
  • The likelihood that the virus came from a lab is well above 95 percent.
  • It's possible that the virus was brought into the lab and escaped without being modified, but it doesn't explain the anomalies in the genome of SARS-CoV-2.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 037

Possible Scenarios

  • Generating a scenario is a placeholder for whatever may actually have happened.
  • It's possible that someone did it as a political attack on China.
  • There are other possibilities besides an attack on China.
  • Eric and Bret generate scenarios to prove that something could live in that space.
  • It doesn't have to have been an attack on China, but it's one possibility.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 038

Pandemic as a Market Opportunity

  • Markets allow betting for or against virtually any sector.
  • A moral person or entity generating a pandemic could attempt to cover their tracks and bet against sectors affected by the pandemic.
  • There is no evidence that COVID-19 was intentionally released.
  • Competent people are unlikely to intentionally release a pandemic because it requires a disregard for human life that is not coupled with competence.
  • There is a trade-off chart between competence and evil, where the more evil you become, the worse you are at doing great engineering and scientific work.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 039

Evidence for Natural Origins of COVID-19

  • Historical evidence of viruses jumping from animals to humans is a justification for a presumption of natural origin.
  • The presumption should evaporate in the face of evidence, but it did not in this case.
  • People who privately acknowledged doubts about the natural origin of the virus maintained the presumption of natural origin.
  • The discovery of a human or animal population in which the virus circulated prior to Wuhan would shift the probabilities in the other direction.
  • An ancestor epidemic in an animal population would require a great deal of evolution in the early epidemic, which is not observed.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 040

The Flaws of Science as an Institution

  • Science is a human institution subject to human flaws.
  • Science is not a monolithic entity, but a collection of individuals and institutions with different interests and incentives.
  • Science is not always self-correcting, and it can be resistant to change.
  • Science can be influenced by politics, funding, and social pressure.
  • Science needs open communication and debate to find solutions.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 042

The Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The response to the pandemic was initially slow and inadequate.
  • The response was influenced by politics, economics, and social pressure.
  • The response was characterized by a lack of transparency and open communication.
  • The response was based on flawed models and assumptions.
  • The response was not adaptive and did not learn from mistakes.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 043

Origins of SARS-CoV-2

  • The virus likely did not arise from a hopeful monster, but rather through a process of mutation and selection.
  • Selection would leave a mark, and there is no evidence of this in animals or humans.
  • It is likely that the virus was created through gain-of-function research in a laboratory.
  • Research on viruses involves both accelerated evolution and engineering viruses manually.
  • It is important to determine the protocols used in the creation of the virus in order to better understand it and potentially drive it into extinction.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 044

The Flaws of Science as an Institution

  • Science is not perfect and can be influenced by politics, funding, and other factors.
  • There is a lack of diversity in scientific fields, which can lead to groupthink and a lack of critical thinking.
  • Scientists are often incentivized to produce positive results, which can lead to bias and a lack of rigor.
  • The peer review process is flawed and can lead to the suppression of dissenting opinions.
  • Science needs to be more transparent and open to criticism in order to improve and avoid mistakes.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 046

The Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The response to the pandemic has been overly politicized and has led to a lack of trust in institutions.
  • The initial response was slow and inadequate, and there was a lack of preparation for a pandemic.
  • The lockdowns and other measures taken to control the spread of the virus have had negative consequences on mental health, the economy, and other areas.
  • The messaging around the pandemic has been inconsistent and confusing, leading to a lack of trust in public health officials.
  • There needs to be a more nuanced and balanced approach to dealing with the pandemic that takes into account both public health and other factors.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 047

The Importance of Open Communication and Debate

  • Open communication and debate are essential for scientific progress and for finding solutions to complex problems.
  • Censorship and the suppression of dissenting opinions can lead to a lack of progress and can be harmful to society.
  • There needs to be a culture of intellectual humility and a willingness to admit when one is wrong.
  • People need to be able to have difficult conversations without fear of being cancelled or ostracized.
  • There needs to be a greater emphasis on critical thinking and the ability to evaluate evidence and arguments.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 048

Importance of Understanding Virus Origins

  • A lab leak of a deadly virus is inevitable in the future.
  • COVID-19 is not as deadly as possible future viruses, but it is still a close call.
  • Understanding the origins of COVID-19 can help us respond to the virus better.
  • Engineering viruses and evolutionary-driven research gain function research are becoming more advanced.
  • There were people warning about the danger of lab research back in 2015.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 049

Importance of Preventing Future Pandemics

  • COVID-19 is a close call that we can learn from.
  • Continuing dangerous lab research will create a disaster sooner.
  • There was a failure in the system that allowed the lab leak to happen.
  • There is a clock ticking with respect to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
  • Being stuck with COVID-19 permanently would be a disaster.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 051

Driving COVID-19 Extinct

  • Driving COVID-19 extinct should be a high priority.
  • The longer we delay effective responses, the harder it will be to drive it extinct.
  • The more people who have the disease, the greater its ability to adapt and use features of our immune system to its advantage.
  • We could have driven COVID-19 extinct six months ago.
  • There were mundane concerns among a small number of people that prevented us from driving COVID-19 extinct.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 052

The Theory of Close Calls

  • COVID-19 is a perfect test case for the theory of close calls.
  • We can learn a lot from the close call of COVID-19.
  • Continuing dangerous lab research will create a disaster sooner.
  • There was a failure in the system that allowed the lab leak to happen.
  • Understanding the origins of COVID-19 can help us respond to the virus better.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 053

Flaws of Institutions and Geopolitical Game Theory

  • Institutions, companies, and governments have an autopilot that can cause harm.
  • Corporations may position their products to succeed and competitors to fail, even if it causes harm.
  • There is a complicated coupling of institutions, companies, and governments.
  • There is a geopolitical game theory going on where there is an incentive to hide mistakes.
  • The failure of the international scientific community is a collective responsibility.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 055

The Importance of Learning from Mistakes

  • Humanity needs to learn from its mistakes to prevent future self-inflicted wounds.
  • There is a lot of evidence that suggests COVID-19 is a self-inflicted wound.
  • It is important to dwell on the lessons learned from COVID-19 to prevent future pandemics.
  • Learning from mistakes is crucial for collective intelligence and progress.
  • It is important to learn from mistakes to prevent similar events from happening again.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 056

Steel Manning the Argument Against the Lab Leak Hypothesis

  • Steel manning is a tool that is extremely valuable but can be abused.
  • Good faith arguments are necessary for steel manning to be effective.
  • Opponents have not been wielding good faith arguments in the lab leak hypothesis debate.
  • Public punishment has been used to warn others not to engage in the same behavior.
  • Science is our best hope for navigating difficult waters.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 057

Importance of Truth and Open Communication

  • Shutting down people who use tools honorably is dishonorable.
  • The world suddenly switched gears with respect to the lab leak.
  • The rationalization process involved avoiding targeting Chinese scientists.
  • License to lie will be used by the thing that captures institutions for its own purposes.
  • It is important to broadcast the message that this doesn't look like a Chinese failure.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 058

The Ethics of Lying

  • Lying creates distrust and distrust in institutions is ultimately destructive.
  • There are places where complete transparency is not a good idea.
  • The scientific system should not be lying to us.
  • The well-being of Chinese scientists does not outweigh the well-being of the world.
  • We cannot protect scientists by lying to the world.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 060

The Risk of Zoonotic Spillover Events

  • The scientists in question were pushing the idea that the risk of a zoonotic spillover event causing a major pandemic was so great that we had to risk this.
  • If they themselves have caused it and are wrong about the likelihood of a major world pandemic spilling out of nature, then the call is coming from inside the house.
  • We have to protect scientists from retribution, but we cannot protect them by lying to the world.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 061

Demonizing People for Speaking the Truth

  • Demonizing people for speaking the truth is worse than protecting scientists by lying to the world.
  • People like Bret Weinstein, Josh Rogan, Yuri Dagan, and the entire drastic group on Twitter are being demonized.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 062

Self-Censorship in Science

  • Following the evidence is setting a terrible precedent and demonizing people for using the scientific method to evaluate evidence.
  • There is pressure on world-class biologists to not speak publicly and to avoid looking at the data.
  • Many people argue that battles should be fought in private within the scientific community.
  • People are self-censoring and silencing themselves, which is tragic because they are not utilizing their brains to come up with solutions outside of the conformist line of thinking.
  • People's sense of what they're allowed to think about, talk about, and discuss is causing them to self-censor and rationalize, which is even worse.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 063

Captured Institutions

  • Many people understood that the lab leak hypothesis could not be taken off the table, but they didn't say so publicly.
  • What force captured the institutions is unknown, but they have lost sight of what they were built to accomplish.
  • The way they avoid going back to their original mission is to say things to themselves like the public can't have this discussion, it can't be trusted with it.
  • Institutional rationalization mechanism is very deadly, and it's very direct when you go from lab leak to repurposed drugs.
  • People in AI avoid the idea of using AI in weapon systems, and there's discomfort when discussing it.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 065

Importance of Open Communication and Debate

  • Open communication and debate are essential in finding solutions.
  • People need to be able to talk about things like autonomous weapon systems and the use of AI in weapon systems.
  • There is a natural pull towards self-censorship and going along with the sheep, but it's important to resist that pull.
  • Currently, there is nothing destructive happening with autonomous weapon systems, but in 10-20 years, it might become a real problem.
  • Avoiding conversations about viruses for many years has led to the current situation.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 066

Flaws of Science as an Institution

  • Science as an institution has flaws, and it's important to acknowledge them.
  • Science is not immune to politics, and it's important to recognize that.
  • Science is not a monolithic entity, and there are different perspectives and opinions within the scientific community.
  • Science is not always self-correcting, and it's important to have open communication and debate to correct mistakes.
  • Science is not always objective, and it's important to recognize the biases and assumptions that scientists bring to their work.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 067

Cultivating Insecurity

  • The average person's well-being is tied to their relationship with their employer, creating a top-down dynamic that can be dangerous.
  • Cultivating insecurity means creating an environment where people can go against the grain without it being a catastrophe for their family and ability to earn.
  • This would lead to more individual thinkers and a decentralization of institutions.
  • The concentration of sources of well-being is a solvable problem.
  • Breaking out into spaces of ideas that allow us to think freely is important for freedom of thought.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 069

Ivermectin and Censorship

  • Ivermectin is trending on Twitter.
  • The conversation with Joe Rogan was an emergency podcast on the subject of Ivermectin.
  • The censorship campaign against Ivermectin is shocking.
  • The FL Triple C is advocating for Ivermectin, but not in the sense that doctors or scientists should advocate for drugs.
  • Ivermectin was discovered in the 70s by a Japanese scientist named Satoshi Omura.
  • Its initial use was in treating parasitic infections.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 070

The Effectiveness of Ivermectin

  • Ivermectin is an interesting drug.
  • It was discovered in soil near a Japanese golf course.
  • It is very effective in treating the worm that causes river blindness.
  • Studies have been done to show its effectiveness in treating COVID-19.
  • There is pressure not to talk about its effectiveness for reasons that can be discussed.
  • The FL Triple C has been using Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 071

The Importance of Open Communication and Debate

  • Open communication and debate are important in finding solutions.
  • The flaws of science as an institution need to be addressed.
  • The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for open communication and debate.
  • Individual thinkers need to be able to stand out and break out into spaces of ideas.
  • Freedom of thought is important for cultivating new ideas and finding solutions.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 072

Effectiveness and Safety of Ivermectin

  • Ivermectin is a safe and effective anti-parasite drug that has been administered over 4 billion times in the last four decades.
  • It is on the WHO's list of essential medications and is safe for children.
  • Ivermectin is widely used in Africa to prevent parasites and may have contributed to Africa's less severe impact from COVID-19.
  • Studies have shown that Ivermectin is highly effective at treating people with COVID-19, especially if administered early.
  • A meta-analysis of 60 studies revealed that Ivermectin has an 86% effectiveness as a prophylactic to prevent people from contracting COVID-19.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 074

Real-time Meta-analysis of Ivermectin for COVID-19

  • There is a living meta-analysis of Ivermectin for COVID-19 at IVMmeta.com.
  • The meta-analysis is updated in real-time and has some nice graphics that allow you to understand the evidence.
  • A meta-analysis by Tess Laurie and others of all available evidence is quite compelling.
  • The most effective dose for prophylaxis involves weekly administration, which is not a historical pattern of use for the drug.
  • The safety signal for people using the drug over many years and in high doses is strong, but no drug is perfectly safe.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 075

Dosage and Long-term Implications of Ivermectin

  • The most effective dose for prophylaxis involves weekly administration, which may have long-term implications.
  • The safety signal for people using the drug over many years and in high doses is strong, but no drug is perfectly safe.
  • There are cases in which people have taken a massive overdose of the drug and had no ill effect.
  • The drug is administered in a dose of 15 milligrams for someone of average size once a week after the initial double dose.
  • If the amount of drug in your system is sufficient to be protective at the end of the week, then it was probably far too high at the beginning of the week.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 076

Conclusion

  • Ivermectin is a safe and effective drug that may be useful in confronting COVID-19.
  • Real-time meta-analyses of Ivermectin for COVID-19 are available and updated regularly.
  • The most effective dose for prophylaxis involves weekly administration, which may have long-term implications.
  • The safety signal for people using the drug over many years and in high doses is strong, but no drug is perfectly safe.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 078

Flaws in Science as an Institution

  • Ivermectin is a safe and highly effective treatment for COVID-19.
  • There is a question about whether flattening out the intake of ivermectin would reduce its effectiveness.
  • 86% effectiveness of ivermectin is high enough to drive SARS-CoV-2 to extinction.
  • It is a mystery why ivermectin is not being used as a treatment for COVID-19.
  • Rigorous scientific exploration and investigation are needed to study the effectiveness of ivermectin.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 079

Censorship of Ivermectin Discussion

  • YouTube and other platforms have censored discussion of ivermectin.
  • YouTube is part of a consortium that has appointed itself as the arbiter of truth.
  • The WHO and CDC are not scientific entities but are about public health.
  • Public health has a self-assigned right to lie to prevent a predictable tragedy of the commons.
  • Pharmaceutical companies have emergency use authorizations that require there not be a safe and effective treatment.
  • YouTube may be doing the bidding of pharmaceutical companies without realizing it.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 080

Importance of Open Communication and Debate

  • Open communication and debate are essential to finding solutions to problems.
  • YouTube's censorship of discussion of ivermectin is hindering the search for solutions to COVID-19.
  • YouTube is censoring those who have been consistently right about COVID-19 while The WHO and CDC have been consistently wrong.
  • YouTube's job is to slow or prevent the spread of misinformation, but it is unclear what constitutes misinformation.
  • There needs to be a more nuanced approach to censorship that allows for open discussion and debate.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 081

Handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been flawed.
  • The WHO and CDC have been wrong again and again in this pandemic.
  • There has been a lack of transparency and open communication about the pandemic.
  • There has been a lack of consideration for the unintended consequences of pandemic policies.
  • There needs to be a more nuanced approach to pandemic policies that takes into account the complexity of the situation.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 083

YouTube's Role in Arbitrating Truth

  • YouTube outsources the task of knowing what is true or not to public institutions that claim to be the arbiters of truth.
  • YouTube has the power to control what people get to see or not.
  • YouTube can take a stand against the WHO CDC or open the dam and let any video on anything fly.
  • The benefit of leaving everything so it can be said exceeds the cost.
  • The power of platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to control thought and shift civilization is so great that we need to have the same protections as the First Amendment.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 084

The American Founders' Formulation of Free Speech

  • The American Founders settled on a counter-intuitive formulation that people should be free to say anything.
  • They did not imagine that most of what was said would be of high quality or free of harmful things.
  • They correctly reasoned that the benefit of leaving everything so it can be said exceeds the cost.
  • YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook may be more powerful in this moment than the federal government of their worst nightmares could have been.
  • The limit of what should be allowed is the limit of the law.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 085

The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Building the Right to Censor

  • If what you are doing is legal, then it should not be YouTube's place to limit what gets said or who gets to hear it.
  • Harm will come from allowing everything to be said, but net harm will not come from it.
  • Allowing everything to be said does allow a process in which better ideas come to the fore and win out.
  • Complete freedom to share ideas will lead to truth winning out in the end.
  • Maximizing for drama versus maximizing for truth is a worrying problem in a system where everything is free.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 086

The Blank Slate of Human Beings

  • Human beings are the blankest slate that nature has ever devised.
  • Our flexibility comes from effectively being robots in which a large fraction of the behavioral capacity has been offloaded to the software layer.
  • Human beings are not a blank slate, but we are the blankest slate that nature has ever devised.
  • Human beings are effectively robots in which a large fraction of the cognitive capacity has been offloaded to the software layer.
  • Maximizing for drama versus maximizing for truth is an analog for a much deeper and older problem.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 088

The Importance of Free Speech

  • The conscious and cultural layer of humanity is prone to errors, but it is also where valuable ideas emerge.
  • Novelty is created in the cultural space, but it also goes extinct.
  • Freedom of speech can be destructive in the short term, but it produces more open, fair, and decent societies in the long term.
  • The heterodoxy at the fringe, which is indistinguishable from nonsense ideas at the beginning, is the key to progress.
  • YouTube's censorship of channels like Bret Weinstein's is throwing out the key to progress.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 089

The Line Between Ideas and Personal Attacks

  • There is no value in allowing people to destroy each other's lives, even if there's a technical legal defense for it.
  • People should be free to traffic in bad ideas and expose that the ideas are bad.
  • The process of exposing bad ideas should result in better ideas winning out.
  • There's a line between personal attacks and ideas, and it's a gray area.
  • Personal attacks can be useful in revealing fraudulent people, but there's a certain line that should not be crossed.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 090

YouTube's Role in Censorship and Science

  • YouTube operates in a gray area when it comes to censorship.
  • There is a question of whether or not YouTube should take a more active role in presenting a full picture of scientific ideas.
  • YouTube's current algorithm is driven by rabbit holes, meaning that it presents videos based on what the user has previously clicked on.
  • YouTube's algorithm does not present a full spectrum of ideas in the space of science.
  • YouTube's censorship of discussion of useful tools and making tools that are more hazardous than has been acknowledged seem safe is placing humanity in danger of a permanent relationship with the pathogen.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 092

The Need for Institutions Like YouTube

  • There is a question of whether institutions like YouTube could offer something valuable.
  • YouTube could curate videos and put some videos next to others to imply something.
  • At the moment, YouTube is not capable of offering something valuable.
  • YouTube is placing individual humans in tremendous jeopardy by censoring discussion of useful tools and making tools that are more hazardous than has been acknowledged seem safe.
  • YouTube is placing humanity in danger of a permanent relationship with the pathogen.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 093

The Algorithm Problem

  • The current algorithm is driven by rabbit holes, meaning that it presents videos based on what the user has previously clicked on.
  • The algorithm does not present a full spectrum of ideas in the space of science.
  • The algorithm can fix a lot of this, and YouTube should build better algorithms and trust that to expand what people are able to think about and present always varied views.
  • The algorithm can be balanced in a way that's crowdsourced.
  • The algorithm can create a full spectrum of exploration that can be done and trust the intelligence of people to do the exploration.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 094

YouTube as a Publicly Held Company

  • YouTube is a publicly held company with shareholders and obligations to them.
  • YouTube's obligations to shareholders may make it impossible to take a more active role in presenting a full picture of scientific ideas.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 095

Algorithmic Censorship

  • Personalized search is deranging us.
  • YouTube should present the best videos to present what people are thinking about.
  • YouTube should not direct people to the only claims against a vaccine which is that it's a mind control agent.
  • YouTube would be doing active harm pointing you to this other video potentially.
  • People should be up to the challenge of sorting that out.
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 097

Evidentiary Questions

  • If it's an evidentiary question and there is essentially no evidence that the vaccine is a mind control agent and there's plenty of evidence that the vaccine is safe, then you look for this video.
  • The algorithmic solution creates a problem of its own which is that it means that the way to get exposure is to generate something fringy.
  • The solution is not to limit the algorithm in the case of the super deadly virus.
  • Scientists should step up and become better communicators.
  • Scientists should be better at communicating and stop being full of [__].
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 098

You have read 50% of the summary.

To read the other half, please enter your Name and Email. It's FREE.


You can unsubscribe anytime. By entering your email you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Watch the video on YouTube:
Bret Weinstein: Truth, Science, and Censorship in the Time of a Pandemic | Lex Fridman Podcast #194 - YouTube

Related summaries of videos: